Freely Given

1 Corinthians 2:9-12 

9However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—10these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

In Your Dream

            I hope that you had good night sleep last night. Did you dream? Personally, can you accept that God speaks to people in their dream? Have you ever dreamed of something that you sensed like God had revealed his wonderful plans for you?

When the Israelites were exiled in Babylonia, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream; then he demanded the magicians and wise men of the land, “Tell me what I dreamed and its interpretation.” The magicians and wise men in his kingdom cannot tell him his dream, so King Nebuchadnezzar ordered to kill all of them.

            When Daniel learned about the king’s order to kill all magicians and wise men, he asked the king for time that he might interpret the dream for him. Daniel and his friends plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery.

It narrated in Daniel 2:19-22: 19During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision.  Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20and said: “Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

            Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar his dream; he gave the interpretation that God revealed to him. Do you believe that God uses dreams to reveal his plans? Have you personally experienced it when the Lord spoke to you in your dream?

In his prayer, Daniel acknowledged that God controls times and seasons. The Lord decides who should rule as kings. The wise are wise because God gives them wisdom. Discernment and revelation of hidden things come from God. Can you believe all those realities? How should we internalize those biblical realities?

            Do you know the wonderful plan of God for you? Can you visualize his plan for you? If no, what practical steps should you do to find out his wonderful plan for you? Pray for discernment to envision the wonderful plan of God for you.

1.  Envision

9However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—10athese are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

God prepared great things for believers who love him. Can you envision it?

Surely, you envisioned what you want to become. What’s your plan? Plans won’t always turn out according to expectation. Can you accept it? Why is that so?

We have no control of various factors that may affect plans to succeed, but if our plan is within the will of God, our plan will surely materialize. Do you agree?


            Good carpenters plan and prepare before they start a project. A carpenter planned his wedding; he prepared for it. Then, a gossip spread like wildfire. His fiancée was pregnant. He was devastated. What about his wedding plans? He was depressed. But since he was a devoted believer of God, he planned to divorce his fiancée quietly in the hope that she would not be exposed to public disgrace.

            You know the story. Mary was pregnant through the Holy Spirit, and Joseph the carpenter planned to quietly divorce Mary. But an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that the child in the womb of Mary will save his people from sin; Joseph was also told to name the child Jesus. When King Herod ordered the killing of children in Bethlehem, an angel appeared to Joseph again in a dream and told him to escape to Egypt. After Herod died, an angel appeared in a dream again and told Joseph to return to the land of Israel.

Joseph wanted to settle in Judea and didn’t want to go to their hometown.

Did Joseph expect gossips about Mary? Maybe! But when he heard that Archelaus was king Judea, Joseph was scared. Archelaus was the son of King Herod. The Lord warned Joseph in a dream, so they went and settled in the city of Nazareth.

            When doubtful, hesitant or not certain about our plans, pray for guidance. God prepared great things for believers like Joseph who love him. We pray for stronger faith; we trust that practical steps we take are essential parts of great things God prepared for us. Let’s reflect on what Christ says in John 14:15-17. 15If you love me, keep my commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

When we pray for guidance, the Holy Spirit of truth empowers and helps us enthusiastically do what is right and proper. There’s no pressure at all. Instead, he guides our steps and decisions, and we choose to do good things according to his plan for us. We can’t explain it but we’ve got peace and enthusiasm to follow him. What instruction of God did you hear? Pray to be inspired by his Holy Spirit.

Christ challenges us in John 14: 23-24. 23Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

            The teachings of Christ are blueprints and practical steps that would lead us to accomplish the great things that God prepared for believers who love him. Do you sense any resistance wanting to disregard instructions from God? Earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit guides you step by step to explore the great things that God prepared for believers who love him. Have you explored his plan for you yet?

2.  Explore

10bThe Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 

            The Holy Spirit warrants believers as children of God. He inspires us to trust that we receive his blessings impartially when we follow his instruction for us. Sometimes, we don’t know what to pray. The Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us. He also encourages us to always rejoice. Make sure not to quench the Holy Spirit.

Together, let us reflect on what it admonishes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19. 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19Do not quench the Spirit.

            It is the will of God for us to always rejoice, not distress; to pray continually, not grumble; and to give thanks in all circumstances and not resentful. How can we rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances? We don’t quench the Holy Spirit. How? We always seek his help to follow his instructions.

            Certainly, we all have aspirations in life. It is reality that motivates to keep on, and if our aspiration is within the will of God, we need his help. Together, let us meditate on what it says in Psalm 33:13-15, 13From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; 14from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—15he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.


            King David was a man after God’s own heart; he will obey everything that God commanded him to do. Do you think David had no aspiration for himself?

There was a movie interpretation about Eliab the oldest brother of David. Eliab was very confident that double portion of inheritance belongs to him. Eliab assumed that he inherits the sheep of their father that David took care of. Eliab reprimanded David right before David defeated Goliath. It says in 1 Samuel 17:28: 28When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

Eliab was not worried about the safety of David. Eliab was worried that no one would take care of the sheep he expected to inherit, if David will be harmed. Imagine: David took care of the sheep of his brother Eliab; what is there for him?

Eliab mentioned only few sheep. David had 7 older brothers. So, what will he inherit? Meaning: David had no chance to prosper as a shepherd. Eliab had similar idea when he burned with anger at David. He did not see any chance for David to prosper. But after David defeated Goliath and eventually became king of Israel, there was no recorded account of what happened to his brother Eliab.

Problems with relatives had been generational tragic story. What should we do? Like King David, we trust and obey the Lord, and his greater plan for us will be realized. Let us reflect on what it stated in 1 Chronicles 28:9, 9The Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

            Do you know the great plan of God for you? Do you know any practical step you should take to accomplish the great plan of God for you? Make sure that you pray continually and be thankful in all circumstances. Make sure that you always sense in your heart joyful peace from the Holy Spirit. Who said, “If we attempt great things for God, we can expect great things from God?” William Carey!

3.  Expect

12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 

See? If we attempt to do things that can done by human ability, then we know that it is by our human ability that we accomplish things, right? Who should be praised when we do things by human faculty? Praise belongs to human. Right?

            But if we carry out and accomplish things by inspiration and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, praise belongs to God. How should we explain James 2:5? 5Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

            In comparison to the powerful and influential religious leaders, the term “poor” can be properly interpreted as “spiritually poor, lacking in anything, helpless, powerless to accomplish an end.” It is by faith we accomplish great things for God that we cannot accomplish by our natural talent or ability.


            Do you have any short term plan and long term plans? What do you wish to accomplish in few months or years? What legacy do you wish to leave behind? What is your dream? Joseph the son of Jacob was called Joseph the Dreamer. He dreamed that his brothers will bow down to him. He told his brothers about it. When Jacob heard about his dreams, he may have acted like he approved it.

His brothers were alarmed. They did not want to bow down to the favorite son of their father. So they planned to kill Joseph so that his dream won’t happen but eventually, they sold him to slavery. Through twists and turns of events, Joseph became powerful Prime Minister of Egypt. During famine, his brothers went to Egypt and bow down before Joseph at least three times.

Relatives, friends, acquaintance may not agree with your plans or dreams for yourself; at worst, they may try to oppose or discourage you, but if your plans and dreams are essential to the wonderful plans of God for you, the Lord will help you accomplish them. Pray that you may follow the blueprint of God for you.

Together, let’s reflect on Romans 8:26-28, 26The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

            Sincerely and seriously pray that the Holy Spirit produces love, joy, and peace in your heart so that you may love to follow him with peaceful gladness.

            You would not worry about difficult circumstances because the Lord himself assures you that in all things he works for your welfare. Amen?!

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